Crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN) is the most severe form of GN and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality despite aggressive immunotherapy with steroids, cytotoxic drugs, and plasmapheresis. We examined the therapeutic efficacy of the green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG, 50 mg/kg BW/day x3weeks), a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent, on experimental crescentic GN induced in 129/svJ mice by administration of rabbit anti-mouse glomerular basement membrane sera. Routine histology and key molecules involved in inflammatory and redox signaling were studied. EGCG treatment significantly reduced mortality, decreased proteinuria and serum creatinine, and markedly improved renal histology when compared with vehicle-treated mice. The improvements in renal function and histology were accompanied by the restoration of Nrf2 signaling (which was impaired in vehicle-treated mice) as shown by increased nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and cytoplasmic glutamate cysteine ligase catalytic subunit, glutamate cysteine ligase modifier subunit, and glutathione peroxidase. EGCG-treated mice also showed reduction in p-Akt, p-JNK, p-ERK1/2 and p-P38 as well as restoration of PPARγ and SIRT1 levels. Lower dose of EGCG (25 mg/kg BW/day x2 weeks) treatment also significantly decreased proteinuria and serum creatinine, and markedly improved renal histology when compared with vehicle-treated mice. Thus, our data illustrate the efficacy of EGCG in reversing the progression of crescentic GN in mice by targeting multiple signaling and inflammatory pathways as well as countering oxidative stress.
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